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It's not something new..... I occasionally ran into theBrickBlogger and saw the instructions written in 2011. I happen to own some Tina's from the old Creator sets so I decide to make one. This is the closet combination from minifigure parts that looks like the original figure, and I think it looks pretty great. Though the idea creator akunthita said the "little noses" might bother some customizers, weird and ironic enough, in today's view we're already accustomed to see those licensed minifigures with non-traditonal heads, for example, that family with a big house. So far the Friends are easiest to deal with among the minifigures customization. There are also some outstanding figure designs in Belville, but as I know the size of the Belville figures are much bigger and difficult to be customized. I guess I would spend some time to find out.
Over the past years, TLG rarely make newly molded plates for one individual set (the last one seems to be Scorpion Pyramid). They only leave bricks for kids to build and play solely, and we may additionally buy the basic plates: asphalt roads, green grassland or blue sea. At the same time, there is something "large and plastic" that TLC keep producing for years until today--- buckets, which are mostly used in starter sets and the current theme "Junior". Decade ago, I can remember that most other brick buckets of other brands have studs on their cover, which can be the base for child to build things on. I'm curious about why modern Lego boxes are seldom used in multiple ways, especially being the plates. They buckets are simply toy boxes, which means you can only use it to store toys. Even if there are plates included sometimes, the plates still have nothing to do with the bucket itself. Here are some similar Lego toys that have plates with product design, as I can remember. If there is something missing, please inform me here. My First Lego Set: The predecessor of curret Junior series. The bottom boxes are made of cardboard, only the cover is made of plastic brick plate. The example pics also show how can we play with the covers. Even though Junior has no brick-related container designs, surprisingly the starter covers were made in 2013. Racers miniturbo and fold-out series: the road plate is folded in the box. Consumers can open the plate and then fold it back to a cube. I wonder if they can be used in minifigure-scale City layouts, though I don't have such information. Thomas at Morgan's Mine: the bricks and Thomas the train are inside the mine, which is simply the whole product with a paper coat. Speaking of Thomas, there is a not-so-glad-to-hear competitor, MegaBloks, who now owns many Thomas sets using such kind of product design: Bridge&Train: the products simple make the trains under a cube bridge. The bridge can be used in different ways. Bucketes with Trails: the trails are molded on the boxes. Not only you can build things on the boxes, but you can make a train route in different heights and layouts. There could be some reasons why TLC isn't active in such kind of design. Practically, maybe general buckets use plastic that are harder than normal Lego bricks, so TLC can't massively producs such kind of brick covers. Or theoritically, the designers might think that using the buckets as plates or part of big buildings would be inappropriate for children to learn how to play bricks. But in economic aspects, I don't think having a playable boxing/package is a bad thing. What do you guys think?